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Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

Another morning hike and shoot.

Mystery guest hiker:-)

Jen and Ann trying, with my poor direction, to make a heart with the empty space between them.

Jen and Ann doing yoga poses, at my request of course. About 10 minutes of each Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning hike we photograph each other. We need Melissa for some creative ideas on posing.

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Went out to shoot birds and shot feathers.

Soaking in the last rays before the sun goes below San Jacinto mountain.

Loved the color of the water behind the floating feather.

Another try at panning Jen moving.

After repeated failed hand held panning attempts using a slower shutter speed of 1/20th sec I switched to 1/30th and 1/40th in the photos below hoping I could capture Jen’s face/mid-body in sharper focus. Next time I’ll try panning with even faster shutter speeds to see if I can get her non-moving parts in better focus during the pan. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Both photos were shot using:
Canon EOS 7D, EF-S 17-55mm, f/2.8 IS USM
Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/4.0
ISO: 640
Focal length: 24mm
Manual setting, Auto focus

Ray liked this photo when asked. When I asked him why this photo he responded that he liked how Jen's hair was blowing behind her and her bent behind leg (both implying motion)

Mary Kay and I liked this photo. I giggled when MK answered that she likes how Jen's legs look so muscular in this photo. We women look at the important details:-)

Wanting motion in my photos.

Canon 5D Mark II, EF24-70, 2.8mm USM
1/200sec, f/4, ISO 250. Manual settings, manual focus

Jen. Out early with our cameras and even carried a lightweight tripod for just such a shot.

Jen willingly, repeatedly, walking in front of me on our hike this morning while I practice panning shots. I want Jen to be in focus and pop out from the blurred background. So I follow Jen with my camera, taking shots while she is directly in front of me, moving my body and camera together, laterally, smoothly (no up and down motion) and timed so I am not moving too slow or too fast, throughout the entire shot. I find this difficult. Of course I never practice motion shots, so no wonder it's difficult.

Canon 5D Mark II, EF24-70, 2.8mm USM
1/20sec, f/22, ISO 100, Manual settings, auto focus.
I will get better at panning. I WILL practice.
Near the end of this series of panning shots, while helping Jen with her camera settings (during her try at panning on me walking in front of her) she inadvertently changed her settings from using the one shot mode to a 2 sec timed shot setting. While changing her settings back I spotted the multiple shot setting and got excited as I could use that setting while panning. I changed my camera to the multiple shot setting. Having my camera continuously shoot off shots as long as I held the shutter down, helped in getting Jen’s face more in more focus during the pan. I’m going to spend more time learning to be better at panning. I am tired of the static shots I normally take. Looking for more life! Need to mix it up:-)

Beginning and end of a nice evening.

iPhone photo taken at Manhatten's early in our evening.

At the end of the evening the moon was low on the horizon looking sooooo enormous. By the time I got home and set up for this shot the moon looked different but enjoyed the peace and quiet of the 1/2 hour I stayed out to shoot.

El Rancho.

Rituals. Up until the beginning of this year, since we moved to Rancho Mirage 8 years ago, we have been driving to LA every Thursday to continue the tradition of having Thursday night dinners with “our” people. I wish I could remember how many years we have been going to El Rancho all together. Thursday night dinners at the restaurant El Rancho in Sherman Oaks were a regular occurrence. If it was Thursday night Ray and I were there – he seated with the guys and me with the women. Those of us who ate dinner at El Rancho at 6pm never called asking who was going. We just arrived knowing someone would be there.

In 2011 Ray and I decided to only drive in once a month. Change is difficult and I was worried about not seeing the ladies. Gas prices soared and our cars were showing the sign of heavy travel. Being gone an entire day was also taking a toll on our bodies.

Starting in 2012 we have decided to only drive in every other month. More change. Of course we will miss seeing our special people, but we also realize how much the owner of the restaurant might potentially be affected if others decide to eat elsewhere on Thursday nights. Of course this is out of our control. But it is interesting to be out self enough to see how individual choices and actions may unknowingly affect others.

Below are photos of George, the owner of El Rancho, Tally, George’s right hand man, and two other loyal workers who always have the biggest smiles on theirs faces.

I’m going to have the photo of the four of them blown up as a gift. I’ll make smaller prints for the guys (who have become our friends) too.

George, the owner of El Rancho in Sherman Oaks, treats Ray and me real good. We've been going to El Rancho on Thursday nights for years.

The rest of the crew at El Rancho. Tally (in the dark blue shirt) knowing everyone's needs serves us, and takes care of us like we are family. George is the patron and takes special care of us. A close group of men who know how to serve, cook and care.

What a year for my husband.

Double hernia surgery a month ago, oral surgery today, and an upcoming knee surgery and more rehab.

Ray's oral surgery smile:-)

Shooting in the dark is always challenging.

I just got my Canon EF S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM lens back from repair (the second time). I wasn’t told what the problem was but they said it was restored to good working condition. Why I sent it back was because dust accumulates inside the lens very quickly. Hopefully the interior seals or whatever is repaired.

On morning hikes I carry the Canon EOS 7D and this morning it was fitted with the repaired lens. Both photos below were shot with the 7D and EF S 17-55 mm lens, shot in manual mode and manual focus. It’s dark when we begin our hikes so I have to guess at presetting the focal length distance manually as auto focus is useless.

Waiting for my hiking buds this morning. That's Ann pulling in.

Camera settings:
1/180 sec, f4.5, ISO 640, focal length 20mm.

Jen and Ann are always so willing to surprise me with fun antics when asked to do something (even though photo taking sometimes makes Jen a bit later than she wants to be...even though she teaches at a nearby school.)

Camera settings:
1/180 sec, f6.7, ISO 1000, focal length 35mm.
I added the Lightroom preset Edge Wow 08 to this photo.

Shooting from 9:30am to 6pm, non stop. Heaven!

First shoot of the day.....This is Ann. Isn't she beautiful. Ann wanted a profile photo for the new website she is designing for her Patent attorney business.

Playing with shots with......guess who?

I was supposed to be teaching Photography lessons today, but this light was too good to pass up.

Diana is marrying Brian in a couple of days. Tonight her friends were with her for her wedding dress fitting.

Alarm misfunction: Missed my hike date but got out for the sunrise.

Avoided the sprinklers and red ants and got to see a very red San Jacinto Mountain.

A hundred yard walk out my door allows me to see some fine sunrises (even when there aren't any clouds).